Rent-to-Income Ratio Calculator

What is a good rent-to-income ratio?

The rent-to-income ratio is the percentage of income a tenant will need for the monthly rent. A good rent-to-income ratio is around 30% of gross income, and most landlords will require that as a maximum percentage – the higher the percentage, the more likely it is that a tenant could not afford the rent long term. 

We’ve given you two ways to calculate it below. The first calculator will provide a percentage based on gross monthly income and the rent amount. The second calculator will let you customize the ratio and provide target amounts for both the gross monthly income and the gross annual income. For more information on the inputs and outputs, jump below.

Rent-to-Income Ratio Calculators

What the Calculator Inputs Mean

The rent-to-income ratio calculator is simple, and you’ll only need a few things to determine the correct ratio or gross income depending on which calculator you choose to use above.

Renter’s Monthly Gross Income

This is the total gross income a renter makes a month before any deductions or taxes are taken out. Typically, on a rental application, landlords will ask the total gross monthly income of a tenant.

Monthly Rent

This is the amount of rent that will be due monthly for the rental property.

Gross Income-to-Rent Ratio

The gross income-to-rent ratio is the multiplier you are looking for compared to the rent – it is on a scale of five so you can determine the type of ratio you are looking for. For example, if you want a tenant’s income to be three times the monthly rent, you would select three on the slider to get the correct output. 

What the Calculator Outputs Mean

Rent-to-Income Ratio

This is the percentage representing how much of a tenant’s monthly income will be needed to pay the rent.

Renter’s Target Gross Monthly Income

This is the monthly income you’d expect with the ratio you determined on the slider.

Renter’s Target Gross Annual Income 

Similar to the target gross monthly income, this is the amount of annual income you’d expect with the ratio you determined on the slider.

Example Using the Rent-to-Income Ratio Caluclators

Using the first calculator, say a tenant’s monthly gross income is $5,000 and the monthly rent is $2,000. The rent-to-income ratio would be 40% which is higher than the recommended 30% threshold. 

Applying the same numbers to the second calculator, with the monthly rent being $2,000, say a landlord wants the tenant’s income to be three times the monthly rent amount (close to 30%). When you set the gross income-to-rent ratio to three, the outputs show that you’d want a renter’s target gross monthly income to be around $6,000 with a target gross annual income of $72,000. Jump to calculator.

Why Calculating Rent-to-Income Ratio is Important

The biggest financial concern landlords face is the nonpayment of rent, so ensuring that prospective tenants can afford the monthly rent is a top priority. Determining the rent-to-income ratio should be a part of a landlord’s screening process and setting the ratio, whether it’s 20% or 30%, should be included in every landlord’s screening criteria.

Renting to a tenant whose rent-to-income ratio is say 50%, meaning that 50% of their monthly income will go to rent, is a larger risk for landlords and their investments. There are many unexpected things tenants might need to pay for, such as emergencies or vehicle repairs, that can greatly reduce monthly income and lead to a missed rent payment. Tenants don’t want to be living paycheck to paycheck for rent, and landlords want to avoid nonpayment of rent which can lead to evictions – an expensive process for both parties. Jump to calculator.

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Rent-to-Income Ratio FAQ

A good rent-to-income ratio recommendation is usually 30%. Meaning that roughly 30% of a tenant’s gross salary should go toward rent.

To calculate a rent-to-income ratio, you will need the monthly gross income of the tenant and the rent they will be paying, as well as a percentage threshold. A general guideline is around 30% of gross income. You will then divide the rent by the gross income to get the percentage.

Every landlord will have a different comfort level of risk associated with their rental property investments. Like we mentioned above, if a tenant’s rent-to-income ratio is higher than 30%, then it might be difficult for them to afford the rent long term. It’s up to the landlord to determine if the tenant would be a good fit for their property after going through the full screening process.

There are a variety of factors landlords can use to determine if a tenant would be a good fit for the property. A screening report will give you full credit, criminal and eviction history so you can see if there are any red flags. For our guide on how to read a screening report, read here. In addition to a screening report, landlords should also get to know the renter and collect previous landlord references.

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